Sasikumar and Prajnesh Stormed into Quarterfinals
Sasikumar Mukund the sixteenth seed stormed in to the quarterfinals of the Chennai Open Challenger 80 Tennis being held at the SDAT Tennis Stadium, Nungambakkam, Chennai as he scored an upset win over the third seed Mohamed Safwat of Egypt in straight sets.
The 22 year old Sasikumar Mukund got off to a steady start, served an ace in his very first game to lead 1-0. Both players held serve till 2 all. At this juncture, Mukund was 15-30 down on his serve. He unleashed two brilliant aces in a row, one wide on the adcourt and another down the middle on the seuce court. These two bombshells seemed to have unnerved Mohamed and he was broken rather tamely at 15-40. Mukund led 4-2. He then held his serve to love, to lead 5-2. Mukund held two set points on Mohamed’s serve. Mohamed lifted his game saved the set point and won the next four points and reduce the deficit to 3-5. Mukund led 40-15 on his serve when he made an unforced error. On his fourth match point a long rally ensued with both players playing with grit and determination. Mukund displayed rare maturity and kept his head to keep the pressure on Mohamed throughout the rally and win the point and the set. Mohamed was rattled. Mukund broke him in the very first game of the second set and then held serve throughout the match, serving five aces and stroking fluently on both flanks to stay ahead right through and win the set 6-4 and the match. The talented youngster will now face Brydan Klein of Great Britain in the quarterfinals tomorrow.
The top seed Prajnesh Gunnerwaran served with greater confidence and displayed a higher degree of consistency to outgun compatriot Arjun Khade in straight sets. Arjun’s serve let him down thrice in the match and this was one of the major reasons for his defeat. Prajnesh on the other hand played like a champion and will now face James Duckworth of Australia.
James Duckworth seeded 7 edged out Gastao Elias of Portugal seeded 9 in a two and a half hour encounter which oscillated between the two players before James won the third set 7-5. James started the match on shaky ground and lost his very first service game. Gastao capitalized on this and held his serve throughout to win the first set 6-4. In the second set Gastao was up 2-0 but conceded a break in the fourth game and the players were level at 5 all. In the twelfth game Gastao served a double fault and lost the set 5-7. It was now James’ turn to dominate and he led 2-0. He then conceded 2 more service games and trailed 2-3. He broke back to level the score 3 all. The players were tiring and they exchanged breaks in the ninth and tenth games. James then managed to hold and led 6-5 .Gastao served an ace and was up 40-0 in the next game. James then played some smart tenacious, all round tennis which included a drop shot, crisp slices, volleys and forehands to win the next 5 points to win the game, the set and the match.
Temperature had soared throughout the day and Brydan Klein was fighting against a determined opponent and the weather to pull off a three set upset win over the sixth seeded Soonwoo Kwon of Korea. The fleet footed Korean was stroking fluently but Brydan was up to the task. Brydan broke Kwonin the tenth game with strong return to take the first set 6-4. In the second, Brydan was broken twice in the third and ninth games as Kwon got back in the match by winning the second set. In the third, Brydan switched gears and his fluent strokes pushed Kwon back. Brydan took a 4-1 lead and never looked back to win the third set and the match.
In yet another prequarter match Alejandro Davidovich Fokina seeded 5 of Dominican Republic out played Saketh Myneni in straight set.
Exciting quarterfinals are in store tomorrow with Sasikumar Mukund facing Brydan Klein, Prajnesh Gunneswaran facing James Duckworth, Nicola Kuhn facing Corentin Moutet and Andrew Harris facing Alejandro Davidovich Fokina. This will be followed by the Doubles Semifinals.
Men’s Singles Main Draw – Pre-quarterfinals
 Alejandro Davidovich Fokina (ESP) Bt.  Saketh Myneni (IND) 6-3, 7-6(3)
Andrew Harris (AUS) Bt.  Gianluca Mager (ITA) 7-6(2), 7-6(2)
 Nicola Kuhn (ESP) Bt.  Duckhee Lee (KOR) 6-4, 6-4
 Sasikumar Mukund (IND) Bt.  Mohamed Safwat (EGY) 6-3, 6-4
 James Duckworth (AUS) Bt.  Gastao Elias (POR) 4-6, 7-5, 7-5
 Corentin Moutet (FRA) Bt.  Laurynas Grigelis (LTU) 6-2, 6-2
Brydan Klein (GBR) Bt.  Soonwoo Kwon (KOR) 6-4, 4-6, 6-3
 Prajnesh Gunneswaran (IND) Bt. Arjun Kadhe (IND) 6-4, 6-2
Men’s Doubles Main Draw – Quarterfinals
 Tomislav Draganja (CRO) / Tsung-Hua Yang (TPE) Bt. [WC] Nam Hoang Ly (VIE) / Sumit Nagal (IND) WO
Gianluco Mager (ITA) / Andrea Pellegrino (ITA) Bt. N. Vijay Sundar Prashanth (IND) / Rubin Statham (NZL) 6-3, 6-1
 Matt Reid (AUS) / Luke Saville (AUS) Bt. [WC] Sidharth Rawat (IND) / Manish Sureshkumar (IND) 6-2, 6-2
 Andre Goransson (SWE) / Harri Heliovaara (FIN) Bt. Ivan Gakhov (RUS) / Alexander Pavlioutchenkov (RUS) 6-3, 6-4